back to article The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

CERN, the European research hub in Geneva, is already home to the world’s largest particle accelerator – and it’s hungry for another one that’s bigger and better. Documents published this week by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN, revealed plans for the Future Circular Collider (FCC). The …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Happy

    One ring to rule them all?

    After the FCC is built, no doubt they will want something even bigger. In astronomy, we have a related syndrome called "aperture fever" (and a tendency to run out of superlatives when thinking of names: what do we do after the Extremely Large Telescope? Outrageously Large Telescope? Obscenely Large Telescope? Humongous Telescope?). I wonder what they call it in particle physics? Circular fever?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      For Astronomy it's the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope obviously.

      As for particle physicists, TeVer? (As in Tera electron Volt Fever?) Or Luminosity Fever?

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: One ring to rule them all?

        They call it Clever TeVer!

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      What about Inflation?

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      I think you're right, they'll boson making bigger colliders for ever

    4. Jim 59

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      +1 just for "One ring to rule them all"

    5. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      Why don't we just tell them that the answer is 42 and stop all funding?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      Obligatory XKCD.

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      Plagiarize the BOFH and just call it the Ring Of Fire...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One ring to rule them all?

        When they add that third monster loop the whole thing will be called "The Snowman."

        1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

          Re: One ring to rule them all?

          My first thought was why not build one around the equator and be done with it. But... oceans are tricky and so are plate tectonics. OTOH there are no oceans on the moon (misleading Latin names notwithstanding) and it is geologically stable.

          But only a lunatic would suggest that.

    9. JCitizen
      Black Helicopters

      Re: One ring to rule them all?

      Why don't they save money and take over the old abandoned Super Collider (SSC) that was canceled in Texas? Maybe the huge left over magnets might even help. They already spent a Billion dollars starting the tunnel - I have no idea what was finished. It was supposed to be the largest collider in the world - even larger than the LHC.

  2. Matthew Smith

    I see oppotunity

    Cern wants $5.3bn to dig a 100 km long tunnel, and Trump wants $5.7bn to build a 3,145km wall. Can they somehow be combined?

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I see oppotunity

      Build a big beautiful, hollow, wall around the entire US, and put the new supercollider inside?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: I see oppotunity

        Which states should house the beam dumps?

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: I see oppotunity

          "Which states should house the beam dumps?

          I'm sure the Donald could nominate a "shithole" country for that?

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: I see oppotunity

            We're all secretly thinking Alabama, aren't we?

            1. grumpy-old-person

              Re: I see oppotunity

              NO.

              It's somewhere in africa

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. sysconfig

      Re: I see oppotunity

      Absolutely. And nobody knows more about colliders than Trump!

      Clicky here

  3. jake Silver badge

    The FCC, eh?

    I wonder if Idjit "Tweety" Pai thinks he's going to be in charge of it ...

    Side note: a "small beer" has nothing to do with size.

    1. Symon Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: The FCC, eh?

      Fucking colossal collider?

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: The FCC, eh?

      "Side note: a "small beer" has nothing to do with size."

      Why call it a small beer then if size is unimportant?

      As they say: It's how you use it, not the size!

      1. hmv Bronze badge

        Re: The FCC, eh?

        "small beer" is a low alcohol beer. Which means you can drink more of it.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: The FCC, eh?

          Thanks for the clarification hmv.

          Also, good luck with your financial issues. Your closing down sales suck.

      2. Groaning Ninny

        Re: The FCC, eh?

        "Small beer" used to mean a weak beer. The sort of thing you'd drink all day on the fields.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The FCC, eh?

          Heard an item on the R4 Food Program about Small beer a few weeks ago. Think it's run by some of the people who set up Sipsmith Gin. The aim is to revive the range of low alcohol beers (they are talking of 1-2% strength) which were traditionally brewed as a standard drink back in the days where beer was safer to drink than water!

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: The FCC, eh?

            People used to brew beer twice from the same grain - the first mash would produce a good strong brew - possibly up to 10%, and then the grain was mashed again and the small beer made.

            Modern brewing uses a technique called sparging where a small amount of much hotter water is used to wash the remaining sugars out of the grain after the first (and now only) mash liquor has been drained off.

            Conversely there is a pub near Hexham called The Twice Brewed where they used to add more grain for the second mash to make an even stronger ale, Its in a village called Once Brewed!

          2. phuzz Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: The FCC, eh?

            Just finding a brew that's under 4% is tricky these days.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: The FCC, eh?

              Just finding a brew that's under 4% is tricky these days.

              Not darn sarf it isn't. I'm pleased to report the beer down here is the same watery piss its always been.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: The FCC, eh?

          "Small beer" used to mean a weak beer. The sort of thing you'd drink all day on the fields.

          Because plain water often made people sick, but they'd discovered that beer didn't. They didn't know about bacteria, and hadn't made the connection that boiled water, as used in beer, was safe (and it was an excuse to drink beer all day anyway).

          1. jabuzz

            Re: The FCC, eh?

            It was more the low levels of ethanol killed the bacteria. Even today ethanol is used as a disinfectant.

            1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

              Re: The FCC, eh?

              Ethanol and also hops. Hops are naturally antibacterial. If your beer is at least 2% ABV and also at least 20 IBU (International Bittering Units, a measure of isomerised alpha acids derived from hops) your beer is unlikely to spoil.

              A long time ago in a monastery far far away (or possibly just down the road depending where you live) monks brewed ale (not beer in those days) for the local community. They did mash the grain more than once as mentioned above, they kept the very strongest ale for themselves, the normal strength was for evening consumption by adults, and the last runnings made small beer for kids and mornings.

              Some modern breweries still get two runnings from one batch of grain: this is called parti-gyle brewing. Fullers is a good example of a brewery who use this method. The first runnings (strongest) goes into one kettle to be boiled, the second runnings (weakest) goes into a second kettle. They then blend different proportions of strong & weak to get different strength beers as desired. If the two kettles are boiled with different varieties of hops then the resulting stronger and less strong beers can taste very different, even though they were made with the same grain.

              p.s. Brewing is my day job.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: The FCC, eh?

                Ethanol and also hops

                Except that (in the heyday of small beer) hops wasn't used at all in beer.. (in this country anyway - where hopped beer wasn't available until 1400s when it started being imported from the Netherlands).

                Every AleWife had their own recipe and many, many things were used as a flavourant - preservation wasn't that important since small beer was generally drunk within a week or so of being brewed and very rarely travelled very far[1] from the inn or brewery.

                [1] In modern terms - generally each village or town had only one or two inns/breweries and any small beer made was drunk only within that village or town.

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: The FCC, eh?

          The sort of thing you'd drink all day on the fields

          Especially as it contained only just enough alcohol to kill all the nasty germs usually in the water.. Essential to survive in the days where sanitation was unknown.

          Closest modern analague - US Lite beer..

    3. defiler Silver badge

      Re: The FCC, eh?

      Careful with the Small Beer...

      Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire Grenadier,

      Who caught his death by drinking cold small Beer,

      Soldiers be wise from his untimely fall

      And when ye're hot drink Strong or none at all.

      1. Is It Me Bronze badge

        Re: The FCC, eh?

        Grave stone in from Winchester Cathedral I believe.

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: The FCC, eh?

          That is indeed the one.

  4. Russell Chapman Esq.

    Dark matter/energy question

    Have wondered about this and what popped into my simple mind was virtual particles. The quantum field is constantly fluctuating and causes elementary particles to pop into and out of existence very briefly. My question is this, measured out over universe, what is the average mass of these virtual particles at any given time, could they account for the 'missing' mass of the universe? Because they only exist for very short periods of time before anihilating, rinse and repeat across the universe, could that be an explanation for why we can't find dark matter and energy, because although the mass exists, you really would have to be in the right time and place to see and measure it before it disappeared and popped up elsewhere. Just a thought, but am interested if anybody has any thoughts and if I'm wrong, help me understand.

    1. elkster88
      Headmaster

      Re: Dark matter/energy question

      Just a thought, but am interested if anybody has any thoughts and if I'm wrong, help me understand.

      If ever the situation called for it...

      Paging Amanfrommars1 to the green telephone.

    2. The Mighty Biff

      Re: Dark matter/energy question

      I don't think the virtual particles produced in the vacuum gravitate. Ones produced inside hadrons do however, and contribute significantly to proton and neutron masses iirc. This discrepancy is not understood.

      Sabine Hossenfelder brings it up briefly in a recent blog post :

      http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/01/good-problems-in-foundations-of-physics.html

      Coincidentally, her latest post is on this new collider proposal. Personally it seems like a colossal waste of money now the Higgs has been found. There are much more interesting experiments to be done in fundamental physics than spaffing it all on a yuge collider with no clear idea what you expect to find.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: Dark matter/energy question

        "I don't think the virtual particles produced in the vacuum gravitate"

        They do - given that they're the basis for Hawking Radiation (one of the virtual particles goes down the black hole, the other thus becomes real to compensate and reduces the mass of the hole as a result)

        1. The Mighty Biff

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          They're not virtual at that point though - the intense gravitational field prevents the pair from annihilating each other and they become 'real'.

          In any case, Hawking radiation is still theoretical and hasn't been experimentally verified. There's a lot that's not understood about the vacuum too - huge discrepancies between its energy as predicted by theory and that observed so take all of this with a bug chunk of caveat jam :)

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Dark matter/energy question

            In any case, Hawking radiation is still theoretical and hasn't been experimentally verified.

            That's a tough one. Given the nature of black holes and the contradictory nature of internet forums, where someone always thinks they have the answer, this is a bit like the buttered toast gaffered to falling cat problem....

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          They do - given that they're the basis for Hawking Radiation (one of the virtual particles goes down the black hole, the other thus becomes real to compensate and reduces the mass of the hole as a result)

          Is there a band doing science based blues songs? If not, why not?

          I went down to the black hole

          Also, you could sing the Redshift Blues. Or the blueshift reds...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dark matter/energy question

            The old black hole was where I was born; that was the place for me.

            When ah was young, I did espy a girl just right for me.

            We circled round the horizon, I took her hand in mine.

            But she slipped across the other side, and fell away from me.

            I flew up from that horizon, as she fell down inside.

            Her light went red, her lights went out, and now she's gone from me.

            Sometimes I see her waving, as she redshifts away.

            I think she sees me far away, though I'll be blue to she.

            Oh my sweetheart's gone for ever; she's redshifted away from me.

            Every night I pray to Hawking her info will return.

            But that darn redshift's calling, and now she's shifted infra-red.

            The warmth of my girl is all I have, but that's enough for me.

            Oh, those darn redshift blues. Those darn redshift blues...

          2. Dr. Ellen
            Pint

            Re: Dark matter/energy question

            There's a filk song (Science Fiction Fandom version of folk) called "Radiation Blues".

            Old H-bomb went off last Tuesday, by the Second Chance Saloon.

            Ain't nothin' left but the jukebox, and it's playin' a mournful tune.

            Just keeps on playin' the Radiation Blues.

            Been drinkin' since last Tuesday, and I should be getting high,

            But the dehydration's got me, and all I am is dry.

            Just keep on singing the Radiation Blues.

            There's a lot more of it, sung to the tune of "Frankie and Johnny". I have the lyrics somewhere, but I'm not going to search a filing cabinet and my storage for it.

          3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Dark matter/energy question

            band doing science based blues songs? I went down to the black hole

            Well - there is a prog-metal band (Ayreon - actually just Arjen Anthony Lucassen + various guest musicians) that has an album (Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator) featuring the following songs:

            2.4 To the Quasar

            2.5 Into the Black Hole

            2.6 Through the Wormhole

            2.7 Out of the White Hole

            2.8 To the Solar System

            2.9 The New Migrator

            (Not Blues I know - but pretty good - if you like prog-metal)

      2. JK63

        Re: Dark matter/energy question

        Is there a reason there can't be multiple experimental facilities at multiple locations?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          > Is there a reason there can't be multiple experimental facilities at multiple locations?

          Because it's vitally important that all European physics research money be spent propping-up the economy of poverty stricken Switzerland, rather than being spread out to some of the newer EU members.

          (Warning: post may contain elements composed from baryons and ironyons)

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Dark matter/energy question

            post may contain elements composed from baryons

            I thought that he'd left and been replaced by Derekyons?

        2. Filippo

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          I think local geology plays a role there.

        3. tfb Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          Yes: cost. We can't afford more than one of these things, if we can afford even one. If we can afford one, we can only afford it if we reuse a lot of the stuff we're already reusing for the LHC to prepare particles and inject them into it in the first place.

        4. Kernel Silver badge

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          "Is there a reason there can't be multiple experimental facilities at multiple locations?"

          Provided the money can be found, none what so ever - on the other hand, finding enough suitably qualified people to staff them all and run them in a productive manner might be a different story.

          I suspect that having all the people of different nationalities working with this sort of technology in one place also puts a brake on any thoughts regarding the potential of weaponizing it - such thoughts come easier to individual governments when the facilities and staff are all in-country and under their control.

    3. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Dark matter/energy question

      If you can come up with a 20 year funding proposal for testing that idea I'm sure it would gain traction.

    4. devTrail Bronze badge

      Re: Dark matter/energy question

      When virtual particles pop into existence they borrow energy from the surrounding space, the energy within the larger volume is constant. The energy of empty space has already been calculated, unless the error margin is much higher than expected the gap remains.

    5. Wilco

      Re: Dark matter/energy question

      It's a good thought, one that was first raised more than 100 years ago. Unfortunately when you calculate the energy generated by quantum fluctuations the number that you get differs from the observed value of the cosmological constant by up to 120 orders of magnitude - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant_problem.

      My interpretation of this is that our understanding of quantum mechanics and/or the universe is incomplete. Dark energy probably isn't caused by the quantum vacuum, and may not exist at all. Perhaps Mike McCulloch is right with his theory of quantised inertia which claims to be able to derive the expansion of the universe and galaxy rotations without dark energy or dark matter. Or perhaps we won't come across the correct theory for another 100 years. I do know that the smartest and best funded people we have have been looking really hard for both for a number of decades and so far they've got zilch. You do the maths.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Dark matter/energy question

        My interpretation of this is that our understanding of quantum mechanics and/or the universe is incomplete.

        In other news, the Pope is a member of the Catholic Church and ursinoids defacate in arboreal areas..

    6. Russell Chapman Esq.

      Re: Dark matter/energy question

      Thanks for all the feedback, much appreciated. Not sure why I got 3 thumbs down though, was just asking a question. I think it was Susskind who said, we probably understand about 50% of how things work, the only problem is we dont know which 50%

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Dark matter/energy question

        Mainly because the fluctuations don't add to this, and the virtual particles don't add up to a gravitational effect (other than the background zero point energy, which we do know).

        The virtual particles technically don't exist. The fluctuations are balanced. The zero point energy is (as far as we know) known.

        So we can point to "other", but not to those 3. See PBS Spacetime on Youtube for a layman's, but in depth, explanation.

        :)

        https://youtu.be/ztFovwCaOik

        The downvotes are for not checking quickly before asking. Asking "what if" is fine (IMO, but others downvote me for that XD ) but asking "I think it is" is rather problematic, if you *think* before checking. ;)

        1. Russell Chapman Esq.

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          Forgive my ignorance but am trying to learn. The fluctuations are balanced, does that mean there are also negative fluctuations in the quantum field?

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

            Re: Dark matter/energy question

            (I'm no expert) but they "borrow" energy. Think of it like ripples in a pond, to go "up" (more water) requires some water, which you must move from somewhere, so somewhere in the pond water must go "down" (less water). Similar with sound waves.

            So sound waves carry energy, but don't produce it. In a room filled with air, no air sits perfectly still, however at the same time you cannot get free energy from it.

            I guess likewise, the fluctuations in the "quantum foam" or whatever it is, don't make any "new" energy or particles, but certainly are there.

            PBS again: https://youtu.be/Rh898Yr5YZ8

            I may have mixed it up, so check up there. ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dark matter/energy question

        Some of the Reg readers vote people down for asking questions. I suppose it makes them feel all superior, but ironically they are the inferior for never asking and never learning.

        Take it as a compliment - 6 downvoters are scared of you.

        1. Russell Chapman Esq.

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          Be that as it may. Questions are integral to who we are. If we can't bounce questions around, what is the point of having a brain...

        2. devTrail Bronze badge

          Re: Dark matter/energy question

          You are personalizing the comment too much. People should learn to think about what they read instead of thinking about who might have written it, after all we are anonymous profiles here. This time rather than downvote I preferred to answer, but I see the downvote just as a way to say "it won't work" nothing else.

          1. Russell Chapman Esq.

            Re: Dark matter/energy question

            My profile here is not anonymous, I ask questions in my own name.

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Dark matter/energy question

              That will never work!

            2. devTrail Bronze badge

              Re: Dark matter/energy question

              "My profile here is not anonymous"

              Yup. I didn't check before writing, but it doesn't make a big difference, in a conversation like this only the content of the comment should matter.

  5. jmch Silver badge

    Size vs position?

    The accompanying image says "Size of FCC in comparison with LHC in Geneva. Image credit: CERN" - but it's not clear if that's also their intended / proposed location for it? Right under / around the entire Geneva metropolitan area / canton? Including what looks like part of it passing under lake Geneva in the same place that is begging for a road tunnel to fix the massive congestion problems?

    Given that the size and cost for the collider itself would massively dwarf that of a few administrative and research buildings I would rather think it would work better to build a whole new collider and CERN office somewhere a bit less populated and/or with less existing infrastructure density

    1. Groaning Ninny

      Re: Size vs position?

      Roughly there.

      https://home.cern/science/accelerators/future-circular-collider

      1. Dr Paul Taylor

        Re: Size vs position?

        The aerial pictures on El Reg and the CERN sites are taken from different places (respectively west and northeast of Geneva) and the rings appear to be in different places too.

    2. devTrail Bronze badge

      Re: Size vs position?

      I guess that the plan is to use the existing accelerators to inject particles in the bigger one, LHC already works in this way.

      1. devTrail Bronze badge

        Re: Size vs position?

        Additional detail:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider#/media/File:Cern-accelerator-complex.svg

        As you can see position, or better said being part of a complex, matters

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Size vs position?

      Why can't they build it round Milton Keynes? It's in keeping with the whole MK roundabout schtick.

      And when everything within the ring is inevitably sucked through a portal into another dimension, then nobody'll miss it.

      1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Size vs position?

        Because Brexit. (roll downvotes)

        sorry, but you will need to find another solution to MK

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Size vs position?

        And when everything within the ring is inevitably sucked through a portal into another dimension, then nobody'll miss it.

        I might miss Bletchley park, depending on where you draw the ring.

    4. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Re: Size vs position?

      It has to be a large ring.

      It is not possible to accelerate uncharged particles, such as neutrons. When you accelerate charged particles (or decelerate, as in X-ray machines), energy is radiated away. Circular motion means sideways acceleration, same thing.

      So it has to be a large ring, i.e. small curvature.

      1. Scott Pedigo

        Re: Size vs position?

        > It has to be a large ring.

        > It is not possible to accelerate uncharged particles, such as neutrons. When you accelerate charged particles (or decelerate, as in X-ray machines), energy is radiated away. Circular motion means sideways acceleration, same thing.

        > So it has to be a large ring, i.e. small curvature.

        The particle is being accelerated by alternating electrical fields along the path, both pushing it and pulling it. It's pulled as it approaches a given field, then when it passes, the field is flipped to start pushing it. If the field didn't flip, then it would start pulling it back and slowing it down again. Assuming a constant distance for the parts which generate the fields, as the particle gains speed, the rate at which the electrical fields alternate must increase in proportion.

        If you want to gain a high energy with particle speeds approaching the speed of light, then if you made a linear accelerator, you'd need either an extremely powerful one (very strong electrical fields for quick acceleration) or else a very long one (more fields for longer acceleration).

        If instead you use a ring, then the particle(s) being accelerated can make many revolutions, with the rate of alternating the fields increasing with each revolution. As the particle gains speed, it will gain relativistic mass, and strain against the magnetic field keeping it in the ring, which is why you need those big super-cooled super-conducting magnets. The magnetic field is vertical, and as the charged particle travels through it, it experiences a sideways force, which keeps it traveling in a circle.

        A ring lets you get more use out of those expensive field generators.

  6. alain williams Silver badge

    It is not a lot of money

    £20 billion over 30 years ... The EU's defence spending was €200 billion in 2016 (ie one year). So per year about 1/300 of what the EU spends on guns, bombs, etc.

    I think that the benefit to humanity of a new LHC would be vastly more then what you get from 1/300 of defence spending.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: It is not a lot of money

      Sadly I can only upvote this once

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: It is not a lot of money

      But the Eu's defence budget is about to drop by £39.7b in a few months.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is not a lot of money

      So per year about 1/300 of what the EU spends on guns, bombs, etc.

      Given that (the UK apart) the EU doesn't fight many wars, it doesn't get through many bombs, bullets or guns. But it does employ a lot of people to stand around waiting for a war, and it does pend a lot on buying over-priced military hardware. So what the defence budget is primarily paying for is job creation schemes for squaddies and engineers and manufacturing technicians hardware suppliers. I'd agree that the defence budget is almost entirely wasted, but there's far more pressing basic, resolvable problems that could be solved by spending even £20bn, like making a tiny dent in the lack of safe water, sanitation, and food for much of the world's population.

      As for benefits to humanity of particle physics...maybe. One thing the various hadron colliders have repeatedly shown us is that we build a big one, scientists announce some discovery with no current practical applications, and then announce that to go further they need an even bigger one. A bit like fusion reactors, where most people say "it'll never deliver" despite aiming for a practical application, yet apparently spending billions on pure research that promises nothing is then acceptable?

      Or if people want more spending on research, spend it on genetics and bio-chemistry, for research to eradicate persistent public health threats like malaria, nile fever, ebola, influenza etc. Or to eradicate or cure genetically inherited disorders. Or to repair nerve damage that leaves accident and war casualties partially paralysed.

      Unless Prof Brian Cox is willing to share the recipe of his Elixir of Eternal Youth with the rest of us, I say no more money for particle physicists.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: It is not a lot of money

        >spend it on genetics and bio-chemistry,

        Using current tools - or have genetics and bio-chemistry employ the physicists to develop new tools ?

        Would be tricky to do genetics and bio-chemistry without x-ray diffraction, NMR/IR spectroscopy or the other tools of blue skies particle physics research

  7. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Time to build it elsewhere

    Time to build it elsewhere. Somewhere in space. Just in case.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Time to build it elsewhere

      Actually, there's a second LHC in Japan, but they never told anyone...

      1. Hero Protagonist

        Re: Time to build it elsewhere

        +1 for the Contact reference

  8. caffeine addict Silver badge

    This sounds snarky, but it's not meant to.

    What benefits do we actually get from projects like CERN? The space race ultimately gave us things like interesting ceramics, telecoms advances, GPS, and myriad other things. I appreciate that CERN furthers knowledge in theoretical physics, but I'm hard pushed to see what benefits there are to knowing the mass of a neutrino. The only thing I can think of is the web, and it's pretty much an accidental byproduct.

    1. tfb Silver badge
      Alien

      Have you heard of a fashionable new thing called the 'world wide web'? That was CERN.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " The only thing I can think of is the web, and it's pretty much an accidental byproduct."

        To be fair, they called that one out already.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Directly MRI, indirectly 1000s of physicists/year - not all of who work as quants for hedge funds.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      We can use it to turn the Earth into a sort of space-faring battlestation... a "Death Star" if you will.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This sounds snarky, but it's not meant to.

      Have you considered what those physicists and engineers might get up to if there wasn't a supercollider project going? World domination from volcanic lairs, obviously.

      Mind you, it might be an improvement.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: This sounds snarky, but it's not meant to.

        Sharks with fricking lasers.

      2. Keith Oborn

        Re: This sounds snarky, but it's not meant to.

        Another spinoff/convergence: much of the technology that goes into particle accelerator rings is close to what is needed for Tokamak fusion reactors.

    4. defiler Silver badge
      Joke

      Reverse engineering?

      Then we could build our own universe, complete in every detail. And without an EU. And Mexico can pay for it.

    5. the spectacularly refined chap

      I appreciate that CERN furthers knowledge in theoretical physics, but I'm hard pushed to see what benefits there are to knowing the mass of a neutrino.

      That's the whole point: we don't know what we'll find, which is often true of fundamental research. However, if the same attitude had been adopted 100 years ago the whole of nuclear physics and modern electronics would have completely passed us by. In the 1850s no-one was saying "wouldn't it be great if we had transistors and microchips" but those are from one area of huge practical consequence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "However, if the same attitude had been adopted 100 years ago the whole of nuclear physics and modern electronics would have completely passed us by."

        I think you must be getting as old as me, because 100 years ago nuclear physics and electronics were in a feverish state of development. Radio in particular had a huge boost from WW1.

        It's easy to forget at my age that a hundred years ago isn't around 1880, when all the excitement was about steam engines and wild ideas about turbines.

      2. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

        That assumes Pangloss' theorem that we live in the best of all possible worlds. How can you tell for certain that without government funding of research we would not be better off? In a world where governments stuck to the job of regulation.

        1. the spectacularly refined chap

          Who said anything about specifically government funding. Since I've already mentioned electronics a lot of that evolved from the likes of Bell Labs in the 30s, 40s and 50s., i.e. the private sector. However there are comparatively few companies that engage in that kind of fundamental research and they need deep pockets to fund things with no clear payoff. If you left it all to those billion dollar companies all you do is concentrate ever more power in those few select organisations.

          1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

            My point is being missed. So far in this forum, "fundamental research" equates to research with "no clear payoff". I'm just wondering aloud when and why it was decided that this 'no payoff' thing needed to be redressed.

            As I mentioned, don't approach this from a 'today is better' POV. Maybe it is; maybe without the crown supporting the improvement in timepieces and steam engines, we wouldn't be sharing these ideas now, because we'd only be dreaming about the possibility of telegraphs. But if necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps the funding could be dialed way back without humanity suffering a jot.

    6. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      History of science has consistently shown that when you push the boundaries not only do we find the things we were looking for, but lots we didn't realise existed.

      The space race purpose was to get to the moon, the rest came as a by-product of that attempt.

      I'm sure some will say that the money spent would be better off spent solving world hunger or cancer research. However this ignores that science is inextricably linked, and a discovery in one area could affect another.

      The problem is, if we knew what we were going to find, there is no point looking for it. And once we found something, there may be many many ways to apply it. For example the original quantum research, was purely theoretical and many would of said pointless, yet know we are using the quantum realm in electroncs, computing and starting to look at biological processes in a new way

    7. richardcox13

      > What benefits do we actually get from projects like CERN?

      MRI Scanners for one. Pretty much all high power magnet technology originates from colliders.

      1. jabuzz

        And you would be wrong. There is a picture of the very first working MRI scanner on the following Wikipedia page

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_magnetic_resonance_imaging

        It had nothing what soever to do with colliders. Heck the copper piping on the magnetic coils was after the fact water cooling, it's not even superconducting. At the time it was the largest magnet made by a certain company in Oxford. I would suspect that MRI is more of an economic driver for large magnets these days than colliders. The money spent on CERN is small beer compared to the annual market for MRI scanners.

        1. richardcox13

          OK, the magnets used on contemporary MRI are the result of research done to develop colliders.

    8. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Boffin

      What benefits do we actually get from projects like CERN?

      We don't know, yet. That's why we do them.

      1. Keith Oborn

        "What benefits do we actually get from projects like CERN?"

        I give you a famous quote:

        "Of what use is a new born baby?"

        1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

          Re: "What benefits do we actually get from projects like CERN?"

          To people who are invested heavily in the stock market, that value is precisely quantifiable*. That's why we have government grants. It encourages poor (and ignorant) people with the idea they can get paid to do what their instincts are yelling at them is a Good Thing. They get into debt, and prop up those first mentioned.

          Simple enough?

          *I have a day job.

    9. Spazturtle Silver badge

      You don't get anything tangible from fundamental research, but everything else depends on it. Without doing fundamental research technological progress halts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Completely agree, I think the difficult situation they were in was that theorists had to keep working on this since Peter Higgs theorised the Higgs Boson. Now that we have eliminated most of the popular SUSY models, they need the necessary time to come up with new theories. Before they had 50 odd years, now though, they have a lot less time to explain what was going on.

        I remember seeing a chap on Particle Fever, his models were based on the Higgs being around 145 GeV. When it came in at 125Gev the look on his face was shock. He'd spent decades on the assumption (and rightly so, you wouldn't just pause your HEP work and wait until 2012 when the Higgs was validated). But it is an awful situation for them, akin to learning a programming language for 40+ years and then being told it's all wrong. That's a lifetime wasted, genuinely feel for them, the pressure to produce results must be nothing short of daunting.

        It's a field that intrigues me and scares me at the same time. But as we know in science a null result is just important as successful results. In the last few years we've been able to write off a whole bunch of SUSY models. So thankfully no more time will be wasted on these. But it also means that SUSY is going to be much harder to detect, likely out of reach of FCC.

        On the flip side you have incredibly intelligent people like Nima Arkani-Hamed who firmly believe a larger collider is the way forward. It's hard to disagree with one of the most intelligent physicists in the entire world who does this day in day out.

        There is one hope, late last year the IceCube experiment detected a sub atomic particle that came from underground (the idea is that it was so powerful it penetrated the entire Earth and hit the detector, rather than coming from the sky). No known sub atomic particle can do that, so it is a tantalising hint that there might be something new. It was corroborated with a separate Neutrino detector which adds credibility. Article here: https://dailygalaxy.com/2018/10/reboot-new-evidence-suggests-mystery-particles-detected-beaming-up-from-south-pole-do-not-fit-the-standard-model-of-physics/

        So we know there is more stuff out there, but will we find it with a larger collider? Or more neutrino detectors? Where should the limited funds go? All these questions need answers before anyone signs any cheques.

        1. swm Bronze badge

          There is a lot we don't know

          It is known that the standard model is not completely correct. Also, a quantum theory of general relativity is not renormalizable using standard techniques. Also, the properties of the Higgs boson are poorly known. Almost any symmetry breaking of U(1) x SU(2) results in the standard model. There are about a dozen constants in the standard model that are put in "by hand" whose values are not given by the standard model. The cause for three generations of particles is unknown.

          It is interesting that the four forces all seem to be gauge forces (except the gauge group of gravity is not compact - causing technical difficulties).

          So, no, we do not know the underlying laws of physics - whether a bigger collider will answer these questions is unknown. Perhaps studying neutrinos would yield more results.

    10. Filippo

      There was a time when people asked the exact same questions of research into electricity.

      Please stop and think about that.

    11. Mark 85 Silver badge

      What benefits do we actually get from projects like CERN?

      We don't or won't know until we experiment and gain knowledge. For all we know, the movement of the earth's magnetic north could be the result of CERN's experiments. Or it might not be. That's the beauty of science and research or as quaintly put decades ago: "To go where no man has gone before".

      There's upsides and down sides to research but if we don't try then that's a failure.

      1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

        As long as you go into this with your eyes focused on that clear downside, wherein the recipients of the funding need to steel themselves against the temptation to simply produce the results that will be rewarded by more funding--as I say, if we are agreed that that needs to be in the spotlight, then accelerate them li'l fundamentals to your heart's content (with a reasonable amount of my tax money).

    12. LucreLout Silver badge

      What benefits do we actually get from projects like CERN?

      Knowledge. Since when did that stop being worth having, even if only for its own sake?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If all you have is a hammer

    Last time you made a particle of 125.09 *Giga* Electron Volts/c2

    A particle so huge it lasted 1.56×10−22 seconds before breaking down.

    It took a machine that spanned countries to make it.

    Your hypothesis was that this particle, explains a tiny energy in an unexplained oscillation. That somehow these particles are there fixing up the universe model for much much much smaller particles. Along the way you made a sh*tload of other particles, which violated you model.

    And making a bigger hammer won't help you make it work.

    *******

    Ultimately matter is just not that sexy. It's two particles, massless, sizeless. One force, an oscillation that approaches resonance, and it's dull.

    Dull dull dull. No sexy forces as particles, no backwards time travelling effects, no particles mediating between these forces somehow weaving an interconnected web. Just an oscillation F, and its wavelength W, and a really boring dipolar oscillating across that field and its harmonics and fractional harmonics.

    An oscillation is just two massless sizeless monopoles oscillating along an axis.

    Light is just ribbons of these oscillations, moving at near W per oscillation to stay in resonance with the field they're moving over, hence the speed of light is driven by the resonance.

    Matter is made of just these ribbons wrapped around monopoles forming a donut shaped particle. They are (prime number) multiples of W, and loop around to keep the oscillations in their slot.

    That oscillating electron, isn't oscillating because its doing a magic probabilistic dance, its got a donut around it, its sitting in a jiggly field.

    It's dull.

    There is no mass.

    *******

    *BUT*

    Blackhole as 2F resonant universe, and everything works exactly the same regardless of F, which means we're in black hole. That's kinda sexy. The idea that in those black holes is another universe, simply oscillating at twice the frequency. They too are wondering why they can't see beyond the bound of their universe.... or why its getting slower, or faster (depending on whether their matter is heading to the middle or out).

    Or that electric force propagates at infinity, and only its effects need motion, and are limited to 1W per spin. Against sexy. Information theory is toast is that unexplained "can't send data faster than the speed of light" is bollocks pulled from somebodies ass.

    On the plus side, if you can change F, you can slow or speed up time.

    Want a super fast computer? Stick it in a box and speed up time.

    Don't have a cure? Stick patient in a box and slow down time till you have.

    Want to travel faster? Speed up F for warp drive.

    There is sexy here, but its not hammer shaped. It's pen and paper and computer simulation based.

    1. Solarflare

      Re: If all you have is a hammer

      There is no mass

      I'm afraid Yo Momma disproves this.

      Yeah it's infantile, but the whole post is a weird pseudoscience rant, so I refuse to respond to it maturely.

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: If all you have is a hammer

      Hello, pet crank

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        Re: If all you have is a hammer

        Actually, it's the closest thing to Higgs' ideas that i've seen in a very long while

        And as he points out, they didn't find a Higgs particle. They got something "near enough" to make loud media noises immediately to take the pressure off re the insane funding. Latterly discovered to actually be definitely not the Higgs particle but that's ok, that happened late enough afterwards for any political heat to have moved onto something else.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If all you have is a hammer

      Can el-reg peek behind the anonymous curtain to identify this user and send someone round to check on them?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If all you have is a <strike>hammer</strike> <b>crank</b>

      I guess if all you have is a crank, everything looks to you like a steam engine. Or a mangle.

      (No html in titles seemingly)

    5. cbars

      Re: If all you have is a hammer

      are you the same AC that was warbling incoherently about the resonant frequency of the universe and how we're all living in a black hole on another forum this week?

      These forums are frequented by a significant number of people who know more than you or I do; you appear to know very little beyond GCSE physics, and your explanations are akin to a Childrens TV science program, only less accurate. Please stop. Even if you use "I'm too smart for these guys, I'll let them wallow in their filthy ignorance" as an excuse, just stop.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Living in a black hole?

        Nah, that would be a reasonable comment from someone. The above post shows nowhere near as much thought. :P

        While (AFAIK) the shape of space suggests we are not inside a "black hole", it possibly would be possible to have an arrangement of mass that has strong enough gravity well to prevent light escaping, while from the "inside" would look rather normal.

        There may be other factors making the universe look like a black hole (and "edge" to it). But again, the special flatness suggests it does not.

        1. cbars

          Re: Living in a black hole?

          @TechnicalBen

          Perhaps I was a tad harsh, if it is the same poster then I do not believe I was. I should have left the link, there's about 5 consecutive posts and as far as I am concerned there is enough rubbish in there to discount the lot

          Decide for yourself :)

          https://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/3694864

          1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: Living in a black hole?

            Maybe it's the AManFromMars post-bot, Version 3? It has a neural-net processor and learns exponentially the more it interacts with humans.

            Does he even come around here anymore?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Living in a black hole?

              No. amfM makes sense much (most?) of the time, if you make the effort to parse what it's saying. Yes, it still posts here regularly.

    6. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: If all you have is a hammer

      @AC "if all you have is a hammer".

      Your post is accurate, if and only if you have forsworn logic. Since it is abundantly clear you have forsworn logic, I'd suggest that you log off the internet, light a scented essential oil candle, and go back to reading 'Once and future time travels of my dog'.

  10. 0laf Silver badge
    Boffin

    New name needed

    Cool.

    I wonder if the LHC could become an accelerator ring for the FBC (Fucking big collider) like the SPS is to the LHC?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New name needed

      I think we need a new naming system that won't run out so quickly.

      Perhaps the next one needs to be the Not Very Small Collider, and we work on from there. If we reach the stage of bashing neutron stars together and close to lightspeed, we could call it the Actually Quite Large Collider.

      It's a bit like all the towns that have a New Road that eventually won't be any more.

      1. Kevin Fairhurst

        New Road bad!

        This is a local shop for local people! There’s nothing for you here!

      2. storner
        Holmes

        Re: New name needed

        Since there is always going to be one more accelerator, we need something that extends into infinity. Like numbers.

        So I suggest "Particle Coliider 0", "Particle Collider 1" etc. Abbreviated PC1, PC2 ...

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: New name needed

          Works best with magnetic anomalies in Tycho.

    2. Dr. G. Freeman

      Re: New name needed

      That's the plan.

      For those wondering why we need a better ring, means a bigger "running track" to get the particles going faster, so there's more energy in them when they crash into each other, meaning smaller bits are made in the collision.

      Think when two cars collide at 2mph in the supermarket car park, the bumper falls off, when the F1 cars crash together at 200-odd mph, you get little bits of carbon fibre all over the place.

      Hopefully means new electronics to play with, like better CCDs, that are used in camera phones, better magnets for speakers, and other magnetty things., etc.

      And who knows, JJ Thomson didn't think of electronics when he found the electron, so what will "Bosonics" bring ?

      1. Horridbloke

        Re: New name needed

        "so what will "Bosonics" bring ?"

        Hopefully a new era of vinegar.

      2. jmch Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: New name needed

        "when two cars collide at 2mph in the supermarket car park, the bumper falls off"

        That's British build quality for you!!

      3. a pressbutton

        Re: New name needed - so what will "Bosonics" bring ?

        ... overpriced headphones?

    3. Horridbloke

      Re: New name needed

      Collidey McColliderface

  11. Scott Pedigo
    Devil

    Demolition Derby Track

    If the FBC and LCH are built slightly overlapping, as shown in the picture, then maybe they could cross connect the rings to allow particles to travel in figure eights, in both directions of course (courtesy of counter-rotating beams), and then hold a super destruction derby.

    OK, OK, I know that the magnetic fields of the LCH wouldn't contain the more powerful beams of the FBC.

    But still, as someone who used to squirt lighter fluid onto plastic model u-control planes for more realistic crash scenes (Will the burning plastic pilot escape the wreck? Of course not!), I immediately start thinking of how one could created a really big bang.

  12. Tromos
    Joke

    There's just one thing wrong with the proposed design

    They're crossing the beams!!!!

  13. jonathan keith

    Sort it out, Reg

    It's glaringly obvious that the correct acronym is FuCC.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Sort it out, Reg

      It is circular, but more accurately it's a toroid. So really it's the Future Torroidal Collider Scheme. Or FuToCS for short.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £5000 USB cable

    CERN is full of people like hifi buffs. The current one gave x results so an improved one will give xx results. I imagine this is the proposal but dressed up with fancy equations.

    Why do these projects exist? Could be to hoover up experts far and wide and stop them doing something else useful in ther own countries.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: £5000 USB cable

      Actually a lot of the work on the CERN experiments is done in other countries, hence the interesting technical problems of relaying all that data. So forget the WWW, CERN has been driving big data for quite a while.

      Back in the day AMD brought out the 64 bit Opterons and I was following the interesting discussion threads as people reported on what they were now able to do or asked for help. One from somebody at CERN was something like "Does anybody else have any experience of using a dual Opteron setup with 16 Gbytes of RAM and a 4-gigabyte row MySQL database?"

      Nowadays you can easily run that on a thin and light laptop, and CERN I am sure is partly responsible. As late as 2010 I had people patronisingly explain to me that 64 bits wasn't really any better than 32. Because they'd never seen a big data set...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they can have particles from my DPF for free

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Time to check down in the couch. There might be a few hiding there amongst the lost coins, furry dust, and cookie crumbs.

  16. HeyYou

    Re: New name needed

    Not-as-wee-as-wee-Wullie

    Although I've probably remembered it wrong, waiting for the correcions...

    1. Scunner

      Re: New name needed

      I think that "No-As-Big-As-Medium-Jock-But-Bigger-Than-Wee-Jock-Jock" is the gonnagle you're thinking of...

      https://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/No-As-Big-As-Medium-Jock-But-Bigger-Than-Wee-Jock-Jock

      Oddly enough I was thinking exactly the same thing!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It’s a hard choice...

    Yes it is a lot of money but as someone pointed above, compared to defence spending it’s a drop in the ocean.

    I am certainly not a HEP Physicist. However, I do have a passion for all things science. A good point above was that we don’t know what will happen with a new larger collider especially if using Protons. Isn’t it in our nature to push the boundaries?

    However, there are fundamental issues that need to be discussed. The hope scientists had about the LHC was yes to prove the Higgs Boson predicted more than 50 years ago existed. This as we know turned out to be true, it also completed the Standard Model nicely. But we also know via observations there is still plenty of unknowns left to discover. The problem is that getting funding for stuff like this is hard. So the people pushing for a collider need to be able to stand by their reasoning for a larger collider.

    Within theoretical physics there is a big divide (read Sabine’s blog and then compare it to someone’s blog like Lubos Motl). We have String theorists who struggle to give us anything falsifiable and mostly rely upon SUSY being valid. On the other side of the coin we have people like Sabine who are adamant these theorists are lost in math and the money and the brain power should go elsewhere like Condense Matter Physics.

    This isn’t an easy situation to resolve. Everyone hoped the LHC would open up Beyond the Standard Model physics. It just hasn’t happened and there is no guarantee a new collider will gives us the ability to validate this. It is by nature high risk.

    A documentary on Netflix called Particle Fever describes this beautifully. In short the measurement of the Higgs Boson was slap bang in the middle of most models (be it SUSY or the multiverse). So for the last few decades theorists assume a low energy for the Higgs and a high one, and nature being what it is threw us a curve and in one go invalidated a whole bunch of models (more worrryingly decades of wasted work on those assumptions). Give these people some flexibility though, as the reality is this particle was predicted decades ago and we only proved it existed in the last 6 years. They have to make assumptions and take things forward as the technology catches up and let’s us test and falsify these things.

    I’m on the fence, there should be some detailed consultation involved in all facets of HEP to work out whether the money should be spent. I suspect if we throw money at these things and the results don’t pan out, any remaining credibility will be gone and will won’t get major funding for anything big. HEP physicists also need to respect that if explained well we can understand the difficulties and they have to tackle. Assuming we are all too stupid and that we will just keep handing over money will not work.

    What they don’t tell you is that they are all just as dumbfounded as to how the universe works as we are, they just have the ability to articulate that in math and models.

    To say they are disappointed is an understatement. There is also a risk that we might be at the ceiling of what we can physically observe, this could just be it (especially if we do exist in a multi verse).

    I say get all the risks and problems on the table and work together to spend what limited money and credibility is left to try and push the boundaries further. Otherwise we risk seeing the end of big HEP projects and the LHC while successful in detecting and measuring the Higgs Boson will be seen as an expensive failure.

    A final point is I would like to see more global collaboration. The Chinese also plan to build a huge collider. Why build two expensive machines because we can’t work together rather than one that all physicists can get behind? Just seems crazy but that’s Geo-Politics I guess *smh

    I respect all the people that work in this field but Joe public will not fund these things indefinitely.

    A closing analogy... a collider is like smashing two cars together at near light speed and trying to work out how they were constructed by seeing which bits broke off in the resulting collision. Highly technical, but very crude.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It’s a hard choice...

      "A closing analogy... a collider is like smashing two cars together at near light speed and trying to work out how they were constructed by seeing which bits broke off in the resulting collision."

      Except that it's nothing remotely like that at all.

      You collide atomic nuclei, about whose structure people have a very good idea. Atomic nuclei, unlike cars, are rather simple even though the maths is very complicated. Effectively, you're hoping to produce a bit of quark/gluon plasma at an energy level getting progressively closer to the Big Bang. And then you see how it behaves.

      It may look a bit crude but we just don't have another way of getting some nuclear material and raising it to an improbably high temperature. It's quite difficult to put a load of sensing equipment in orbit round a neutron star, say.

      Joe Public is the last person to make funding decisions. Just look at the result of his purchasing decisions; bigger and more expensive toys, cheaper and worse food. If the human race likes big and expensive toys, better to have some that increase the sum of knowledge, and preferably don't go bang or invade foreign countries.

      1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

        Re: It’s a hard choice...

        "Joe Public is the last person to make funding decisions. "

        Oh yeah, how obvious. Let's have an elite class do that for us. Make sure they are raised so as to be unsullied by the vulgar opinion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It’s a hard choice...

          Its the same reasoning that explains why the UK has never been a "pure" democracy - currently it is a parliamentary democracy (i.e. MPs are elected to make decisions that they think are the most beneficial for their constituents), and soon it will be a US vassal state.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It’s a hard choice...

        I fully respect your PoV and you clearly have a firm grasp of the complexities. In an ideal world I would bin off all defence spending globally and pump into cutting edge physics and technology that could really make all our lives better.

        It disgusts me that so much money is spent on finding ways to kill each other when for the price of a couple new aircraft carriers we could open up a new era of physics. But if i’m being realistic that’s never going to happen. I have the utmost respect for HEP theorists and experimentalists. However, because of the rubbish world we live in we have to be smarter and spend the money wisely. Again it’s shame that physicists are put in a position where they almost have to guarantee an outcome because people want to see nice shiney results.

        I feel I understand the benefits of spending this money and I’m happy whether it’s a null result or opens up a new era of physics. I just don’t think the rest of the general public understand that. They will just point to more immediate problems that need addressing with money. Completely forgetting that long term it’s these projects that will take our civilisation forward.

        I also see common themes here in regards to Nuclear Power wherein we have reactors that have to make power as well as weapons grade plutonium when there is clearly better more clean ways of generating power. Just makes me feel it all comes down to money and additionally how something can be weaponised or be used as an enabler for weapons. But it almost feels

        like because there are no military applications for a larger collider that it’s unlikely to get funding approval. Also unlike the LHC where we were actively looking for the Higgs Boson and it was successful; a new collider has nothing shiney about it. Getting people to buy into Beyond the Standard Model Physics with no consensus on what we might find is not going to be a trivial task.

        Yes my car analogy was crude and not a fair reflection of the complexities. I guess I was just trying to use language that was more digestible so that the debate could be widened to allow more people to understand the difficulties. So I do apologise for simplyfying it too much. I just worry when we start talking about Quarks, Gluons etc that it’s understandable that it goes over most people’s heads.

        It’s a real shame and sad state of affairs :(

  18. ChrisElvidge

    HS2

    So for the cost of 1 HS2 we could have 2 VLHCs?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: HS2

      *hacks signalling system to create UK High Speed Collider*

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Herring`

    Bigger than the SSC was going to be

    Well, according to Wikipedia. I think they should go bigger though.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Bigger than the SSC was going to be

      How about just wrap one around the equator?

      1. Douchus McBagg

        Re: Bigger than the SSC was going to be

        yeah I thought this amusingly.

        i'm surprised they don't plan for something bigger tbh, but then started to wonder when the curvature of the earth and movement thereof would come into play. so. just next level that sh1t and plonk it all the way round the planet.

        or next step, so as not to annoy nimby's and avoid the inconvenience of oceans, put it in space at a decently high orbit?

        added bonus of you can power the thing by nuclear without anyone freaking out... apart from the bit about putting nuclear material on rockets to get it up there... or having a potential nuclear launch platform in spaaaaaace… hmmm.... this isn't working out too well...

        how big's the moon?

  20. Real Ale is Best

    Cheaper than HS2.

    So it's going to be half the length of HS2 (HS2 ~ 230 km), exclusively in a tunnel, and cost a fraction of the amount.

    Could we get them to build HS2 (and Crossrail 2) once they've finished?

    Alternatively, get them to build the accelerator as the path of HS2, and share the tunnel with the trains. That would cut down on journey times!

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Cheaper than HS2.

      And at the maximum speed of 99% of light, transit times would be spectacular!

  21. Dr_N Silver badge

    BFCC

    A better moniker Shurely?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whenever it comes to physics always worth checking out the Backreaction blog:

    http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/01/particle-physicists-want-money-for.html

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    size

    Is this like the spinal tap stonehenge model? Couldn't they just make a little one you put on the table?

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. BOINC UK

    Only 14 billion euros ? Lets double that for starters just for a vanity project. On top of which a "superconducting proton machine" for a mere 15 billion euros that "would buy good pure research until the end of the 2050s" - how about 2030 tops when they'll ask for another 30 billion.

  26. DougS Silver badge

    Where's Elon Musk?

    Waiting for him to claim his Boring company will build a tunnel that rings the entire Earth to make a really big ass accelerator!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No mention of helium

    Will the viable sources on earth be depleted / wasted by the time this big thing requires it?

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Questions like:

    questions that physicists are still unable to answer. What is dark matter? Why is there more matter than antimatter?

    And, most crucially of all: why don't we get invited to all the good parties?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't they call it the

    Time Vortex Manipulator ?

    (gets trenchcoat and walks out muttering about resonance cascades)

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